These selected Czech castles and chateaux will open on weekends in December

A handful of venues overseen by the National Heritage Institute will offer limited tours of the majestic landmarks.

Raymond Johnston

Written by Raymond Johnston
Published on 04.12.2020 12:51 (updated on 04.12.2020)

Several Czech castles and chateaux will open on weekends starting Dec. 5, lasting until the end of the month. The National Heritage Institute (NPÚ) will offer limited access to some of these most popular Czech tourist sites.

Visitors can see the private apartments at Sychrov Castle, the Castle Museum at Český Krumlov, the winter tour at Hluboká Castle, representation halls and the greenhouse at Lednice Castle, the Gothic palace at Křivoklát Castle, interiors and stone sculptures by Matyáš Bernard Braun at Valeč Chateau, and the flower garden in Kroměříž.

Český Krumlov, Lednice and Kroměříž are UNESCO World Heritage sites.

In line with pandemic guidelines, visitors will have to wear face masks, use hand disinfection and keep a space of two meters. People are also encouraged to check on the NPÚ website or the individual castle websites for any updates on the situation before going.

The Castle Museum at Český Krumlov will reopen. (photo: NPÚ)
The Castle Museum at Český Krumlov will reopen. (photo: NPÚ)

The NPÚ manages approximately 100 state-owned castles, chateaux and other monuments. Others are in private hands or overseen by local authorities. Prague Castle, for example, is not part of the NPÚ network, and will remained closed for the time being.

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Increased domestic tourism helped make up for some of the losses do to the lack of foreign visitors, but the overall numbers still fell far short of previous years.

The NPÚ’s monuments were closed for almost two months in the spring, but during the summer months, attendance reached a similar level as in previous successful years. The monuments then were forced to end their season three weeks early due to new restrictions.

Over 2.5 million people visited castles and chateaux in July and August. September saw a significant drop in attendance after the introduction of the mandatory face coverings in interiors. Fewer than half a million visitors came to the monuments that month.

In total, some 3.6 million people visited NPÚ monuments from January to the end of September. Compared to the same time in 2019, the number of visitors decreased by 1 million.

In the whole of last year, attendance reached almost 5.3 million people because they were able to visit some locations after the end of the main tourist season to see, for example, special Advent programs.

Lednice was the most visited location this year with 256,000 up until Oct. 12, Český Krumlov, with 190,800, and Hluboká with 181,800 were second and third. In normal years, the top-ranked NPÚ site, usually Český Krumlov, gets over 400,000 visitors.

The shortened visitor season caused a drop in revenues. The total drop in revenue for 2020 in a year-on-year comparison is estimated at almost CZK 190 million.